Politics

DCCC Adds 11 GOP Targets, including Paul Ryan

Democrats are now targeting 91 Republican districts in 2018

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added 11 more Republicans to its 2018 target list, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The DCCC now has its sights on 91 GOP seats next year. Twenty-three are districts that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried last year, while 68 voted for President Donald Trump. The new targets were first reported by The Washington Post.

“The DCCC has successfully built the largest battlefield in over a decade, with strong campaigns ready to win tough races across the map in 2018,” chairman Ben Ray Lujánwrote in a Thursday memo marking one year until the 2018 midterms. 

Republicans are largely on defense in the House, and acknowledge that historic trends could work against them.The president’s party has lost seats in 18 of the last 20 midterm elections, with an average of 33 seats lost in those 18 cycles.

The DCCC’s new targets include districts that Trump won handily, as well as newly competitive districts. Their original target list indicated Democrats would be going after Republicans in Trump country. The new targets include:

  • Rep. Paul D. Ryan: Trump carried Wisconsin’s 1st District by 10 points according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections. Ryan won re-election by 35 points last fall. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman: Trump carried Wisconsin’s 6th District by 20 points, and Grothman was elected to a second term by 20 points. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican.
  • Rep. Mia Love: Inside Elections changed the race rating for Utah’s 4th District from Solid Republican to Leans Republican when Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, a Democrat, announced he would challenge Love. Trump carried the district by 7 points and Love won re-election by 12 points.
  • Rep. Peter T. King: Inside Elections rates the race in New York’s 2nd District Solid Republican, and Trump carried the seat by 9 points. One of King’s Democratic challengers, Tim Gomes, has loaned his campaign $1 million. 
  • Rep. Trey Hollingsworth: Trump carried Indiana’s 9th District by 19 points, and Hollingsworth won his first term by 14 points. But Democrats believe they can exploit Hollingsworth’s only recent ties to the district, which he moved to the fall before last year’s GOP primary. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican.
  • Rep. Tom McClintock:  McClintock won re-election by 25 points in California’s 4th District, which Trump carried by 16 points. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers:  The House GOP conference chairwoman’s race in Washington’s 5th District is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections. But Democrats believe they have a strong challenger in former Washington State University Chancellor Lisa Brown. Trump the district by 13 points last fall while McMorris was re-elected by 19 points. 

Democrats also added four open seats to their target list in the following districts:

  • Ohio’s 12th District: GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi is retiring from a district Trump won by 11 points. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican
  • Pennsylvania’s 11th District: Rep. Lou Barletta is leaving his House seat to run for Senate. Trump carried the district by 24 points and Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican.
  • Pennsylvania’s 15th District: Moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent decided to retire from Congress, putting his seat in play next year. Trump carried the district by 8 points and Inside Elections rates the race Leans Republican
  • Texas’ 21st District: GOP Rep. Lamar Smith announced last week that he is retiring, opening up his seat that Trump carried by 10 points. Democrats believe they have a strong candidate in Joseph Kopser in this race that Inside Elections rates Solid Republican. An Army veteran and entrepreneur, Kopser had outraised Smith the past two fundraising quarters. 

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